Openreach, BT’s local access business, today announced that it has connected its first customers to ultrafast broadband in Haydon Wick in Swindon.
These customers now have access to Openreach’s Fibre-to-the-Premises (FTTP) network, which offers speeds up to 300Mbps, enough to download a high definition film in less than 20 seconds.
Openreach is trialling new ‘plug and play’ technology in the area which reduces the cost and complexity of delivering an all fibre connection to a home or business.
It allows customers to be connected to FTTP with a simple two hour installation appointment instead of multiple appointments.
One of the first customers to benefit from the trial is local homeworker David Stevens. He said: “We had standard broadband before which gave us around 2Mbps in speed. I work from home and rely on a broadband connection for things like Skype calls, sharing files or data transfer. If anyone else in the house was online at the same time the signal would drop out, which is very frustrating.
“Now I’ve got ultrafast I no longer suffer dropouts in signal and haven’t had anyone tell me they can’t understand me or that I sound like a Dalek so that’s been great.”
“The real advantage of fibre is knowing that there is enough capacity there for the entire family to use at the same time. I have three children, two of which are teenagers and everyone has at least two devices each. Before we would have to compromise over who could use the internet for what and when.”
Local Councillor and Vice Chairman Haydon Wick Parish Council Damon Bower said: “Just five and a half weeks ago we were discussing plans for Fibre-to-the-Premises in the village, and now the first customers have been connected. It’s fantastic that in that time we have an active network delivered and working. All the engineers on site have generated a real buzz in the area. The trial will cover 500 homes so we can look forward to even more residents being connected in the near future.”
The company will also conduct trials looking at new ways to deploy FTTP in other areas of the UK, including Campton and Meppershall in Bedfordshire to get a better idea of how the technology will work with more challenging network topography. The trial will explore a number of methods that could simplify deployment, for example, by reducing the need for engineers to cut and melt fibres together, which can be a tricky and time consuming process.
Openreach will continue to build on the trial in Haydon Wick with the number of upgraded lines ramping up over the coming weeks and months.
Local residents who are interested in getting connected to ultrafast speeds should contact their service provider as their line will not be upgraded automatically. They can find out if they can get ultrafast fibre by asking their service provider. More information on the trials can be found visiting the Openreach ultrafast website.
Openreach is responsible for the last mile of the UK access network – the copper wires and fibre connecting homes and businesses to their local telephone exchanges. Openreach provides communications providers with services and products associated with that network.
BT is one of the world’s leading providers of communications services and solutions, serving customers in more than 170 countries. Its principal activities include the provision of networked IT services globally; local, national and international telecommunications services to its customers for use at home, at work and on the move; broadband, TV and internet products and services; and converged fixed/mobile products and services. Following the acquisition of EE on 29 January 2016, BT consists principally of six customer-facing lines of business: BT Global Services, BT Business, BT Consumer, EE, BT Wholesale and Openreach.
For the year ended 31 March 2015, BT Group’s reported revenue was £17,979m with reported profit before taxation of £2,645m.
British Telecommunications plc (BT) is a wholly-owned subsidiary of BT Group plc and encompasses virtually all businesses and assets of the BT Group. BT Group plc is listed on stock exchanges in London and New York.
For more information, visit www.btplc.com.